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Theatre Helpline provides advice and support for theatre workers on the following issues:

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http://theatrehelpline.org/

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Who is the “greatest director of all times”?

Great interview with Nigerian-British actor Chukwudi Iwuji, recently on BBC2 in the Anthony Hopkins ‘King Lear’ and currently playing Othello at Shakespeare in the Park, NYC.

There is a lot worth listening to, and here I’ve listed some favourites of mine – what would you pull out?

07:25 (10:25) “Steeped in the language”: the very sounds of the words, Shakespeare as “the greatest director of all times” – the importance of the language

11:50 (13:15) How Iwuji copes if he doesn’t feel something coming from another actor for him to respond to and he is “looking at dead air”

21:15 On Hamlet (including women playing)

23:00 On Ira Aldridge, great 19th century black actor

29:30 “Acting is happening constantly” for an actor, not just when in a job (part of the Q&A section that starts at 27:00)

So… what strikes you most?  Comment below!

 

Scarlet Pimpernel Returns to Stage

Leslie Howard & Merle Oberon in The Scarlet Pimpernel, dir. Alexander Korda

Predecessor to heroes from Zorro to Batman, that dashing, disguised saviour with a wonderfully entertaining – and seemingly indolent – secret identity, The Scarlet Pimpernel has long been a favourite of mine. I’ve read the original novel (and more, if I recall correctly) and on screen I’ve enjoyed the performances of Anthony Andrews (with Jane Seymour), Richard E. Grant (with Elizabeth McGovern) and the wonderful Leslie Howard, who played both The Scarlet Pimpernel and ‘Pimpernel’ Smith, the latter set in WWII.

Have you seen any of these? If so, which was your favourite? Comment below…

Now – to the stage! Thanks to a new play, I found out that Baroness Orczy’s Scarlet Pimpernel actually appeared on stage (1903) well before the first novel was published (1905).

The Scarlet Pimpernel is returning to the stage in a play by Helen Bang, directed by Jennifer Dick.

I was delighted to read the script a few years ago in its development period and have followed its progress since. You can now follow along online with Helen’s blog and the Pimpernel Productions website.

Check out the wit Helen is infusing the play with, and sense her joy in working with this special time and hero…

https://fellowshipandfairydust.com/2018/05/28/the-scarlet-pimpernel-the-original-superhero-returns-to-the-stage-in-a-rip-roaring-new-adaptation/

See the wonderful costume designs by Carys Hobbs and help The Scarlet Pimpernel buckle his swash across the stage:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/helenbang/the-scarlet-pimpernel-the-original-superhero-on-st#

The Scarlet Pimpernel - the original superhero - on stage - logo

Here’s to a rip-roaring, rabble-rousing, rotters-roasting return!

Citizens Theatre – On The Move

Yes – great to see the Muses statues accompanied by Robert Burns and William Shakespeare!
Muses: Thalia (Comedy), Melpomene (Tragedy), Terpsichore (Dance) and Euterpe (Music)
Reckon I can point out 2 of these, but can’t quite tell if that’s a comedy or tragedy mask.
What do you think?

University of Glasgow Library

STA Ex 25 30q Citizens Theatre, Glasgow. Ref: STA Ex25/30q

Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre company is to move out of its home in the Gorbals for the first time in its 72 year history, from June 2018, the building will be closed for two years for a major redevelopment.

First opened in 1878 as the Royal Princess’s Theatre, the Citizens company have been in their Grade B listed Gorbals home since 1945 – making it the second oldest operational theatre in the UK, preceded only by Leeds Grand which opened 6 weeks earlier.

STA PH 483 Exterior of the Royal Princess’s Theatre, Glasgow advertising “Tammy Twister”. December 1933. Ref: STA PH 483

The building shared an exterior with the adjacent Palace, which featured columns taken from the Union Bank in Ingram Street and several large statues which were the work of the sculptor John Mossman (1817-1890).

The statues represent the inspiration the muses have provided in…

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